Well, golly…my mom had so many fans from Surtex this year (that tiger shirt she made me was a real hit!) that I figured it would be fun to get HER outlook on what it was like at the show. No matter how much you try to explain the wacky three-day trade show to family and friends, it is never 100% clear until you actually experience it. My Mom was super excited to join me in New York City and she helped out a bunch! If you are enlisting family or friends for your Surtex adventure (or have already had that happen), then hopefully you'll find this amusing. Read on to hear her give advice about making your own custom Surtex clothing and how the trade show compared to other ones she's been to.
What surprised you the most about Surtex and The National Stationery Show?
The eye fatique! The booths at both Surtex and the National Stationery Show were abundant with color and design. On the Surtex side, I was impressed and overwhelmed by the creativity of the artists. At the National Stationary Show, I was impressed and overwhelmed by the wealth of products manufactured using that creativity.
You actually are a business owner and are very familiar with other trade show environments-how was this different?
I actually enjoyed this one? Seriously, the most notable difference was presentation. At both shows, the booths were created to attract and stimulate the visual senses. One was allowed to absorb and observe, and then, engage in conversation if desired. My experience at business shows and exhibitions—both as an exhibitor and a participant—has been one of connecting with the attendees in a more aggressive manner. Exhibitors will meet and greet, use both visual and sound stimuli to attract people to their booths, and hand out promotional items like candy. And, they do hand out candy…and hats…and pens…
Why do you think everyone thought you were the artist and not me?
I found that so amusing! And, I have no idea. I certainly received the misidentification as a compliment. Your art seems hip and trendy so by transference, that made me feel hip and trendy.
People loved the tiger shirt! Any advice for people wanting to make their own custom clothing for Surtex?
Be certain to match fabric to pattern style. I wrestled with the tiger fabric because it was cotton; the pattern we selected did not lend itself to cotton…at all.
Did you notice any interesting trends as you walked around?
Most of all, I was delighted to see so many small independent card companies. The cards were quirky, fun, humorous and a testament that people still are interested in connecting in ways other than smart phone or tablet.
What advice do you have for friends or family members that may be helping artists at the show?
Relish the experience, follow and trust your artist’s lead, and come without expectations. You’ll have more fun, and you’ll be open to whatever comes your artist’s way. I learned so much about your work and about you, being with you those three days of the convention. I don’t know if that really helped you, but it was great for me!